The Chainsmokers on Topping the Charts, Losing Songs to Computer Crashes and Why They Haven't Released an Album

Alex Pall said he had to rebuild their song ’Don’t Let Me Down’ from scratch.

ByASHLEY RIEGLE and LAUREN EFFRON
October 06, 2016, 11:24 AM

— -- The Chainsmokers’ song “Closer” has been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. Their song “Don’t Let Me Down” is also in the top 10.

And the duo hasn’t even released an album yet.

Since their 2014 breakout hit “Selfie,” which has over 460 million views on YouTube, The Chainsmokers, made up of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, have quickly become some of the biggest pop stars in America.

Their oeuvre is electronic dance music – Taggart said the song “Selfie” that put them on the map was meant as more of a joke for their New York City friends.

“And then the world was like, ‘This is who you are.’ And we’re like, ‘Well, kind of,’” Taggart said. “That’s our sense of humor, but we’re going to try and show you some other sides of what we do now.”

The guys collaborate with other artists, but they say they play all the instruments on their records.

“I played drums for years, played guitar for five years,” Taggart said. “And I’ve been producing so much I’ve learned how to play the piano.”

Once they have recorded a track, they play around with the sounds on their laptops.

“We spend a lot of time just sitting here making unique sounds,” Taggart continued. “I spent about an hour the other day with a mic just going ‘tock.’”

But the problem with having everything on a laptop is that they crash. The duo said they have lost a trove of songs.

“’Don’t Let Me Down’ was actually one of the songs that we lost,” Pall said. “And I had to remake the entire song from scratch… Having to go back through that creative process was crazy.”

And as for why they haven’t recorded an album – the guys are still testing the waters. Pall said people have such a short attention span nowadays, “so to come out as a new artist and say, ‘Hey, I want you to pay attention to me for two hours’” seems like too much right now.

As for their name, Taggart said, “It’s just a name.”

“At the time I was in college ... and it was just like, ‘domain’s open, I don’t have to have any underscores,’” Pall added.

Although they are living the pop star life now – Pall joked he gets stopped on the street because people mistake him for Roger Federer -- the guys said they both have girlfriends from “before all this craziness happened,” and they still hang out with the same friends.

“We do like 250 shows a year,” Taggart added. “Yesterday, we had a show, tomorrow we’re back in Vegas. We’ve got Miami, then back to Vegas then Friday we go to Paris.”

Another fun fact -- neither of them drive a car, but say their Uber ratings are over 4.6 stars.

“I took an Uber here this morning and one of our songs, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ came on the radio, and we’re pretty unassuming dudes,” Pall said. “And the guy was like, ‘I’m so sick of this song’ and changed it. And I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t even want to tell him.’”

Like most other artists these days, The Chainsmokers use social media to get their music out to fans and share pieces of their personal lives. The band has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and 510,000 followers on Twitter.

“I don’t think there’s a lot about our lives that we don’t let people see,” Pall said. “Everyone is lucky enough to be doing what they love. I was a receptionist in an art gallery before this and thought the art world was something I wanted to do. Then I became disenchanted with it and music was clearly where my heart was.”

“We’ve always just been two dorky dudes who are pretty self-deprecating,” Taggert added.

ABC News' Nick Watt contributed to this report

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